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IHG Rewards Club has just introduced a new mystery bonus on purchased points. The bonus is valid for points purchases through August 22, 2018. With this offer, different members are targeted for different bonuses, so you’ll want to log-in here to see what kind of a bonus you’re eligible for. Personally I was targeted for a 100% bonus as long as I purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction.
In my case if I maxed out this promotion and purchased 100,000 points, I’d end up paying $1,000 and would get a total of 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points. That’s just 0.5 cents per point.
There are two things IHG changed earlier this year to make buying points more interesting:
- IHG Rewards Club increased the maximum number of points you can buy per year from 60,000 to 100,000 (pre-bonus)
- IHG Rewards Club lowered the cost per purchased point from 1.15 cents to 1.0 cents (pre-bonus)
While the new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a 20% discount on purchased points, that benefit only applies when buying points at the normal cost, and wouldn’t be applicable here. However, one huge benefit of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, so you can book four nights and only pay for three. So if you are staying somewhere for four nights, think of it as a further 25% discount.
IHG Rewards Club points purchases are processed by points.com, so don’t count as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card. When paying for the points you buy, you’ll first want to use a credit card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spend, and then second you’d want to use a card that maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend.
Here are the full terms of the promotion:
Offer available for purchases made between 12:00 AM ET July 13, 2018, and 11:59 PM ET August 22, 2018. This is an exclusive, non-transferable offer for the intended recipient only and may not be forwarded. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus.
Price includes all applicable fees. Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable toward all IHG® Rewards Club awards. Members may purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year. Please allow 72 hours for points to post and appear in the recipient’s account. All other IHG® Rewards Club Terms and Conditions apply.
Is it worth buying IHG points with a 100% bonus?
IHG Rewards Club has devalued their award pricing several times over the past few years, most recently earlier this year. During this last devaluation we even saw them add higher award pricing, as hotels now cost up to 70,000 points per night, compared to the previous highest cost of 60,000 points per night.
At the same time, for those purchasing points, it’s not necessarily bad news. They’ve lowered the cost per purchased point, they’ve increased the number of points you can buy, and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has a great fourth night free benefit.
For example, at a rate of 0.5 cents per point, you could acquire 210,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $1,050 (the maximum you can buy is 200,000 with the bonus, but let’s apply the same value to the other 10,000 points). IHG’s most expensive hotels go for 70,000 points per night, so if you had the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you could get four nights at that rate. That’s like paying just over $250 per night including taxes and fees at some of IHG’s best properties.
This represents a significant savings over what many of these hotels usually charge.
I wouldn’t speculatively buy points at this rate, but there’s value to be had under the right circumstances. Sometimes this can be a deal on IHG’s highest end hotels, and other times there’s value to be had with their mid-range properties as well.
IHG also has their excellent PointBreaks promotion, where you can redeem 5,000-15,000 points per night at select hotels. That’s like paying ~$25-75 per night at a hotel, which can be a great deal.
This time around we’re seeing a mystery bonus on purchased points, so different members will be eligible for different bonuses. Assuming you’re eligible for a 100% bonus, I’d say this could be a very good deal, especially in conjunction with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which can get you a fourth night for free on award redemptions. While this isn’t for everyone, with a specific use in mind it could make sense to buy points.
What kind of a bonus on purchased IHG Rewards Club points were you targeted for?